Priv.-Doz. Dr. Silke Britzen

Staff scientist 

Very Long Baseline Interferometry VLBI Group

Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie

Bonn, Germany

e-mail: sbritzen @

As Project Leader (chair) of the COST Action MP0905 I was leading an international team of scientists interested in finding out more about the general phenomenon of Black Holes. In a cross- and multi-disciplinary approach we brought together experts from all Black Hole mass scales (Quantum to supermassive), observers, theoreticians and particle physicists.

Please find out more about this Action which ended in June 2014 here.


NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O'Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO / AUI / NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)
NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O'Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO / AUI / NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)

Active supermassive Black Holes and their jets - that's my field of research. In partciular, I am searching for pairs that might merge in the future and emit gravitational waves.


Some active Black Holes and their stories:

  • An arc-like structure around the core of 3C 454.3
  • Apparent superluminal motion switched off from time to time in 0735+178
  • A jet curls into shape and becomes straight again in 1803+784


For PhD-projects please check here.

SFB956: Conditions and Impact of Star Formation -
Astrophysics, Instrumentation and Laboratory Research

we study star formation in the vicinity of active Black Holes. The idea is to understand better

what kind of mechanism triggers star formation but also the activity of a Black Hole. How is matter transported towards the inner regions of an Active Galactic Nucleus and how do feedback processes influence this very special environment?

Please find out more about this Sonderforschungsbereich here.

From February 28 to March 22, 2015 we organized an interdisciplinary exhibition with artists and scientists expressing their view on the topic of stars. Almost 700 visitiors saw the exposures and participated in vernissage, popular science talks, concerts, and the finissage.

Lectures at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg

Ungelöste Probleme der Astrophysik

Freitag, 14tägl., 14;00-16:30, Philos.-weg 12 / Großer Hörsaal

Die Vorlesung richtet sich an Studenten aller Semester und alle Interessierten. Ich informiere über die spannendsten aktuellen Fragestellungen (z.Bsp. Schwarze Löcher, Dunkle Energie, Gravitationswellen, etc.) und gebe einen Überblick über laufende und geplante Forschungsprojekte.



Britzen -   Island
Britzen - Island

In case there is a bit of time and space without science, I like to paint with lots of colour.

Some COST conferences

COST Action MP0905 "Black Holes in a Violent Universe

99 years of Black Holes -

from Astronomy to Quantum Gravity

Final COST conference in Potsdam

May 20-22, 2014

COST conference

The Galactic Center Black Hole Laboratory

Nov. 19-22, 2013

Granada, Spain


COST School


Sept. 16-18, 2013

Ioannina, Greece